10 Ways to Differentiate Your Offering

With more than 100,000 financial advisors in Canada, the competition to build and maintain a successful practice is fierce. Use our Top 10 Tips to give yourself an edge and stand out from the crowd:

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Tip #1: Have a higher purpose

Whether you choose sponsorship, fundraising or volunteering, add an element of social responsibility to your business by supporting a cause you care about. You’ll elevate your personal brand – and perhaps discover unexpected satisfaction.

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Tip #2: Personalize

Rather than one-size-fits-all marketing, deliver genuine value and relevance by tailoring your communications to individuals and what you know about them. Ask how often clients want to hear from you, and which types of contact they prefer.

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Tip #3: Focus on the client experience

Create positive, memorable experiences for your clients so they feel they’re getting something worth paying for, no matter what happens in the market. It could be as simple as how quickly you return a phone call or email. Look for the “wow” factor, and remember that even small gestures can make lasting impressions.

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Tip #4: Build trust by being yourself

Capitalize on your uniqueness by being yourself as you market your services. Your honesty and authenticity will help you stand out for the right reasons. You’ll catch the attention of the types of clients you want to work with, while forging deeper relationships with current customers.

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Tip #5: Hone your brand narrative

Humans have told stories since the dawn of time, and storytelling continues to be effective in communicating ideas and guiding behaviour. Focus your brand message on the whys of what you do – your values, beliefs and personal experiences – to resonate with clients and prospects and lead them to action.

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Tip #6: Get in front of the (video) camera

Video is ideal for distilling complex information in relatable and understandable ways. Its efficiency is second to none, and the technology is right at hand. Try using video to communicate concepts that could otherwise take reams of text to explain.

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Tip #7: Find a mentor

Learn from industry influencers you admire and trust. They can serve as a positive example to follow – if they found success, it could work for you. Mentors can also open the door to new professional connections, or provide a sounding board for your thoughts. It can be a lonely world otherwise!

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Step #8: Be a mentor

Become a subject matter expert and meet potential prospects by teaching a college, university or adult education course on the markets or financial planning. How better to differentiate yourself than by spending meaningful time with an engaged group in the role of educator? Being a teacher can be rewarding in itself, more satisfying than cold calling!

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Tip #9: Acknowledge your Achilles’ heel – and fix it

Bad with technology? Always falling behind on paperwork? Fear your business is stagnating? Just as lifeboat drills can prepare clients for a potential market downturn, you can prepare yourself for future game-changing scenarios that could weaken your business. Identify your weak spots and take corrective action. You’ll up your game – and sleep better at night.

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Tip #10: Do less, better

Aim for quality over quantity. Simplify where you can, learn to say no to projects and opportunities that aren’t the right fit, and forget about keeping up with everyone else’s idea of success. All that matters is what works for your business. Rather than FOMO – fear of missing out – embrace JOMO – the joy of missing out!

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Overcoming the 5 Big Investor Challenges in Volatile Markets

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